Forward Forum


The Lost Spirit of Christmas Past

By Eric Frey

As a young boy growing up in officially Catholic Austria, December was a time to realize what it meant to be Jewish. In the birthplace of “Silent Night,” Christmas was a deeply religious experience from which even non-religious Jews consciously excluded themselves.Read More


Making Deals

By Gus Tyler

In our lifetime (mine, anyway), several political eras have been tagged with the word “deal.” There was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous New Deal. Roosevelt’s successor, Harry Truman, liked to refer to his reforms as the Fair Deal. There are some who refer to our current regime as the Raw Deal or perhaps as an Or-deal. But the use of the term “deal” dates back much further, to the opening years of the 20th century, when a president named Theodore Roosevelt tagged his reforms the Square Deal.Read More


To Those Who Would Count Stones Thrown

By Leonard Fein

Crunch time approaches, as we have known for years it one day would. The texture of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is about to undergo a seismic shift.Read More


The Jewishness of Joseph Lieberman

By Daniel Treiman

Joseph Lieberman may have held on to his Senate seat, but it’s safe to say that there were plenty of Jews who weren’t celebrating with him on election night. Indeed, Lieberman — one of the greatest political path-breakers in American Jewish history — has long been a controversial figure among his fellow Jews.Read More


The Socialism of Bernie Sanders

By Harold Meyerson

At 2 in the morning on a November night in 1914, on the square that abutted the Forward building in the middle of the Lower East Side, a crowd that had been gathered there all evening heard an announcement it had awaited for hours: Tammany had conceded. New York’s 9th Congressional District had a new representative, Socialist Party candidate Meyer London.Read More


Jerusalem’s Pride Divide

By Isi Leibler

The passionate controversy over the gay pride parade planned for Jerusalem earlier this month brought to a head the worst aspects of life in Israel. The storm can be viewed as a microcosm of the decadent trends that have steadily infiltrated our society, dramatically highlighting the ability of minority groups to polarize and hijack the national agenda.Read More


Leave a Seat Empty at the Thanksgiving Table

By Leonard Fein

In the late winter of 1951, while serving as vice president of the student body at Forest Park High School, in Baltimore, I met with our school’s principal, a man named Wendell Dunn, to talk about what we might do to mark the then-approaching “Brotherhood Week.” Baltimore in those days was a segregated city, segregated by law.Read More


Much Lies Beyond the Grasp of Arrogant Atheism

By David Klinghoffer

I’m no longer surprised by the cluelessness of Jewish educational institutions. Thus a friend studying at a certain Orthodox-affiliated college emailed me this week, asking for my definition of conservatism. He explained that he is taking a class in advanced psychology, the specific topic being the “authoritarian personality.”Read More


The Dying Debate Over Racial Justice

By John D. Skrentny

On November 7 Michigan voters chose to end affirmative action preferences based on race or gender in education, government jobs and government contracting. But something else may have ended as well: the national debate on affirmative action. This does not mean that affirmative action’s job is done. It does not mean that racial minorities are a declining part of the population — in fact, immigration and relatively high fertility rates among African Americans and Latinos ensure that just the opposite is true. It means that Americans may no longer feel collective responsibility to end racial and gender inequalities — and in particular disadvantage among blacks.Read More


Engaging the Intermarried

By Edmund Case and Kathy Kahn

There is extraordinary news from Boston’s 2005 Jewish Community Study: 60% of its children in intermarried households are being raised as Jews, compared to the national rate of 33%. The significance of the 60% figure cannot be overstated. First, it should end the debate over the effectiveness of outreach. Second, every local Jewish community can duplicate Boston’s pioneering approach to intermarriage — at a cost of just 1% of the community’s annual spending.Read More


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